tv CBS Morning News CBS July 17, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PDT
the government report shows 55% of the country's experiencing moderate to extreme levels of drought. the affected area stretches for thousands of miles from the desert southwest, across the plains and into the midwest and southeast. it is one of the most severe droughts in decades, even rivaling those of the dust bowl in the 1930s. a prayer for rain sounded by millions. this summer's drought is taking its toll on farmers and ranchers, hoping for some help from mother nature before it's too late. >> ranchers are in trouble because the pastures around here which normally would be at least knee-high, if not up to the thigh in some cases with good prairie hay, it's like somebody mowed it, and besides the cows. >> fields throughout the plains are parched, their crops withering. some haven't seen rain since early june. illinois governor pat quinn pleaded for federal disaster help for 33 counties. >> we've never seen a drought like this. you can see firsthand how depleted, how serious this matter is. >> the department of agriculture says 38% of the nation's corn crop is in poor or very poor
condition. some economists say if the problem persists, food prices which are already rising could continue to increase. the drought may be the result of back-to-back occurrences of the weather phenomenon called la nina. that's when an area of cooler-than-normal air over the pacific pushes the jet stream north, causing major storms to miss the south. >> the la nina is slowly weakening, and in fact, we're transitioning, at least potentially, to a weak el nino as we go into the autumn and winter. now, if that does occur, that does have the potential to at least bring some drought relief to parts of the country. >> while millions anxiously await that to happen, some are approaching the drought with some humor. in indiana, where some communities have instituted a watering ban, one man took some unconventional landscaping steps, painting his lawn a lush green. and at least one area affected by the drought is getting rain, and a lot of it. severe storms hit the tucson area again on monday after getting soaking rains over the weekend. last night's storms triggered
floods that closed a half dozen roads. a wildfire along the central california coast has forced residents in about 50 homes to evacuate. the so-called cat fire has burned more than 750 acres in san luis obispo county, started yesterday afternoon. pushed by strong winds, it quickly spread to the dry brush and woodlands. the fire is about 20% contained. to politics now and a report on the impact of black voters on the presidential race. the report released today by the national urban league says if black voter turnout drops by as little as 5%, president obama could lose three critical states he won in 2008. black voters turned out in record levels in 2008. 64.7%, and played a significant role in mr. obama's victory. the urban league says a turnout of 60% could cost the president three states he won last time, ohio, virginia and north carolina. the urban league says high unemployment among african-americans and new state voting laws could discourage voter turnout. the president campaigns in
texas today, mitt romney in pennsylvania. they've been exchanging sharp criticism over jobs. tara mergener is in washington with more this morning. tara, good morning to you. >> good morning to you, terrell. that's right, no question, both of the candidates are very much on the attack now. mitt romney on the president's record in the white house and the president not giving up on romney's tenure at a private equity firm. president barack obama was feeling the love while watching the u.s. olympic men's basketball team monday night. he wasn't as friendly to mitt romney. during a campaign event in ohio monday, the president pushed a new study which says romney's tax plans would be bad for america. >> governor romney's economic plan would, in fact, create 800,000 jobs. there's only one problem, the jobs wouldn't be in america. >> reporter: this latest attack is a new spin on an old theme, that romney shipped jobs overseas while still the head of bain capital. romney has been trying to beat back the bain attack. >> what does this say about a
president whose record is so poor that all he can do in this campaign is attack me? >> reporter: there is growing evidence that the attacks on mitt romney's record at bain are working. that's led some to speculate he'll have to do something soon to change the talking point of his campaign. in his latest piece for "the national journal," political analyst charlie cook said, "the attacks on bain outsourcing and his investments are sticking to romney like velcro, and it's hard to see how that will change until he picks his running mate." we might just see a vp pick soon. one of romney's top advisers says he could have a decision made by the end of the week. >> it could be a very successful attempt to change the conversation. >> reporter: until then, it's business as usual. mitt romney will hold a rally in pennsylvania today and president obama will be in texas for fund-raisers with eva longoria. now, that study cited by the president is from a reed college economist, but the romney camp
has pointed out that the author is a contributor to president obama's campaign. terrell? >> much more of this to come. tara mergener in washington, thank you very much. overseas we go. u.n. special envoy kofi annan is scheduled to meet today with russian president vladimir putin in moscow to discuss the crisis in syria. the fighting has intensified in damascus. rebel fighters say they're determined to strike at the heart of president bashar al assad's regime. they oppose military intervention. one person was killed when gunners aboard an american refueling ship opened fire on a small boat in the straight of hormuz. the navy says the boat was racing towards the "usns rapphannock" yesterday. the ship's security team issued a series of warnings before opening fire. an official of the united arab emirates says the vessel was a fishing boat. three others were injured. "cbs money watch" time. yahoo gets a new ceo and microsoft unveils its new version of office. ashley morrison here in new york
with more on that. ashley, good morning. >> good morning. today a group of senators holds a hearing on allegations against europe's largest bank. on monday, the senate subcommittee released a damaging report against hsbc. it says the bank had lax controls that allowed mexican drug cartels to launder billions of dollars. the report also found hsbc violated bans on transactions with iran and conducted business with banks in the middle east that may have had ties with al qaeda. asian stocks are up slightly this morning on hopes china might take steps to boost its slowing economy. the nikkei rose a fraction while hong kong's hang seng jumped about 1.5%. june was the third straight month americans cut back on their spending. retail sales fell as consumers spent less on cars, furniture and appliances. the last time retail sales fell in three straight months was in 2008 during the financial crisis. that report sent stocks lower on wall street. the dow lost 49 points while the nasdaq fell 11. there could be more pressure on california's already troubled state and local governments.
the california public employees retirement fund collected a 1% annual return on its investments instead of the projected 7.5%. that could force governments to contribute more money to the fund. yahoo is looking to google for a change in leadership. marissa mayer, who was one of google's top executives for 13 years, is yahoo's new ceo. mayer becomes yahoo's fifth chief executive in the past five years, and her chief past is getting her new company to catch up to her former employers. and microsoft unveiled the latest version of its office software. the new version will be available on tablet computers and will include touchscreen controls. the program will also store documents online, allowing users to access them through multiple devices. microsoft has a free preview version available for download, but it has not said when the new software will go on sale, and it's all about those tablet wars going on now. >> ooh, yeah. we'll have to see what that thing can do on a tablet. >> exactly. >> ashley morrison here in new
york. ashley, thank you so much. we'll take a quick break on a tuesday. coming up on the "morning news," na nasa's new $2 billion rover hurdling toward a do-or-die landing on mars. why it's being called the seven minutes of terror. starting at . try our new lunch-size chicken fajitas, sauteed onions and peppers topped with grilled chicken, served with soup or salad. chili's lunch break combos, starting at 6 bucks. metamucil uses super hardworking psyllium fiber, which gels to remove unsexy waste and reduce cholesterol. taking psyllium fiber won't make you a model, but you should feel a little more super. metamucil. down with cholesterol.
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(announcer) it's more than just that great peanut taste, choosing jif is a simple way to show someone how much you care. you made that for me? well you're making this for me. (announcer) choosey moms, and dads, choose jif. you know, you hear a lot about the northern lights. the same phenomenon happens at the other end of the world. these are the southern lights seen in time-lapsed images from new zealand. it's a brilliant natural light show created sunday night by energetic particles from a giant flare on the sun streaming to the earth's magnetic field. always beautiful to see. in orbit this morning, a russian spacecraft docked with the international space station two days after launch from the russian space center. the soyuz capsule maneuvered into position as the earth turned nearly 250 miles below. the soyuz delivered three fresh crew members, russian, american and japanese, for four months of work aboard the space station.
this talking thing isn't going really well this morning. tension is building at nasa as the most sophisticated robot explorer ever sent to mars approaches the red planet. the nuclear-powered rover, nicknamed "curiosity" is set to land august 6th to hunt for clues to see if mars once supported life. jeremy diesel of affiliate khou in houston has more. >> reporter: it is the stuff of science fiction, only it will soon be science fact. >> the most important event, most significant event in the history of planetary exploration. >> reporter: the "curiosity" rover has been screaming toward mars since its launch eight months ago, by far the most advanced craft of its kind. >> mars science labs, the most challenging sent to a planet and certainly to mars. >> reporter: it is also the biggest. "curiosity" is the size of a small suv, and when it's fully implemented, its camber sits a full eight feet off the ground. its mission, while complex, is also very simple.
>> to answer the big question, has mars ever been able to support life? >> reporter: landing first. they call it seven minutes of terror. that's the time "curiosity" will be out of contact during landing. first, a supersonic parachute, then dropping off the heat shield that protects the $2.5 billion rover, then descending under the power of eight engines, dropping three feet a second, cutting the cord and the engines speed off to a crash landing. >> that leaves "curiosity" on the surface of mars early in the morning of august 6th. >> reporter: the rover is loaded with instruments to test everything from the air to the rocks and soil. it's even ready to climb a mountain higher than anything in the continental united states, all with eyes on future missions, testing equipment like a revolutionary radiation detector supplied by the human space flight team in houston. >> we're in top-notch state as we approach the planet, but now the payoff comes. >> reporter: terror first. >> and one more thing about those seven minutes of terror as
the "curiosity" rover lands on mars. nasa revealed yesterday that mission scientists may suffer more nail-biting on august 6th. a problem with the communications relay satellite orbiting mars may mean they'll be waiting for hours to learn if "curiosity" made it down safely. we'll certainly be watching. coming up on a tuesday morning, your weather forecast. and in sports, they're in vip seats for some pre-olympic basketball, but will the first couple smooch for the kiss cam? basketball, but will the first couple smooch for the kiss cam? [ male announcer ] subway is the only place under the sun
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here's a look at t here's a look at the forecast in some cities around the country. sunny, 95 in new york. thunderstorms, 91 in miami. partly sunny skies, 100 in chicago. sunny, 96 in dallas. partly cloudy skies, 74 in los angeles. let's check your national forecast. the recent weather pattern will continue with highs approaching triple digits, common under intense summer sunshine, punctuated in many areas by thunderstorms. storms are most likely along the southeast and gulf coast, in western new england, the upper midwest, from michigan to the dakotas, the high plains and the pacific northwest. isolated, flood-producing downpours are likely from montana to new mexico. in sports this morning, the u.s. olympic basketball team is preparing for a final round of warm-ups in europe for the 2012 games open in london a week from friday. last night in washington, though, president obama attended team usa's game against brazil. in the first quarter, the americans looking sluggish. the brazilians built a ten-point lead, but kobe bryant nailing that hit, and then you've got
lebron james. he had a steal and a jam that helped turn the tide here. team usa led by five at the half and got a vote of confidence from the first fans. >> it took a while for our guys to kind of get into the rhythm, but yeah, we're so much deeper that over time you get a sense they're going to wear them down. >> predictions for the second half? >> i don't think it will be close in the second half. >> but even with the fourth-quarter charge led by james -- he has 30 points, by the way -- the americans never ran away with his. the final score usa 80, brazil 69. incidentally, president obama was asked the dream team question, whether the current team could beat the one led by michael jordan that stormed to olympic gold 20 years ago. mr. obama nixed this. he said "nope, the original dream team would win." okay, that's over. then there's this, the presidential smooch caught on the arena's kiss cam near the end of the game. the first couple was happy to oblige. aww, isn't that sweet? not so much the case earlier in the game. they missed an opportunity to share a kiss, so this was a
do-over for the kiss cam fail the first time around. to baseball now, and youk's warm welcome in beantown, hugely popular as the red sox third baseman. kevin youkilis returned to fenway park for the first time since his june trade to the white sox. he got a long ovation from the crowd, then smacked a single up the middle and then he went on to score. but that was the only run chicago scored, and even with an eighth-inning injury to boston slugger david ortiz, boston won it 5-1. when we come back on a tuesday morning, a dramatic rescue in new zealand after a fire traps 28 miners 500 feet under ground. down here, folks measure commitment by what's getting done. the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery. long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to support scientists studying the environment. and the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons.
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two people have been killed when shots were fired at an outdoor barbecue party in toronto. toronto police say at least 19 others, including an infant, were also injured late monday. police say there appears to be more than one person who fired shots. at least one person of interest is in custody. the shooting took place after a fight between people attending the party. all 28 gold miners trapped by a mine fire in new zealand have been rescued. the men were trapped up to seven hours about 700 feet below ground. officials say the ventilation system pumped smoke from a fire through the mine. they were able to take refuge in a safety chamber. one is suffering smoke inhalation and the others are doing just fine this morning. the fbi is trying to figure out how sewing needles got into sandwiches that were served on four delta air lines flights. all the flights headed to the u.s. originated in amsterdam sunday. there were needles in five turkey sandwiches all prepared by the same catering company. one passenger was injured. country music legend kitty
wells has died. ♪ ♪ it wasn't god who made honky to have angels ♪ >> the 1952 hit "it wasn't god who made honky tonk angels" opened the door to many female country stars to come, including loretta lynn and dolly parton. during her 27-year career, she had 25 top ten country hits. kitty wells died monday at her home in tennessee. she was 92 years old. and a very special shout-out to the device that keeps us cool on these very hot days, the air conditioner! 110 years ago today, a building in brooklyn, new york, became the first in the world to be air-conditioned. it was the brainchild of inventor willis carrier, who was considered to be the edison of air conditioning, so thank you so much. thank you, thank you, mr. carrier, for keeping us cool. we certainly appreciate it. coming up after your local news on "cbs this morning," get ready to pay a sales tax when you shop on the internet. the latest on a bipartisan bill working its way through
congress. i'm terrell brown. this is the "cbs morning news." terrell brown. this is the "cbs morning news." ñ [ male announcer ] if you think any battery will do, consider this... today training depends on technology. and when it takes a battery, there are athletes everywhere who trust duracell. they rely on copper to go for the gold. duracell. trusted everywhere.
the list of financial geniuses who turn out to be con artists keeps growing, and russ wasendorf sr. may be the latest. he's accused of stealing at least $200 million. as dean reynolds reports this morning, not only did wasendorf betray his investors, he also betrayed the small town where he set up shop. >> sometimes things that look too good to be true are too good to be true. >> reporter: for mary shepard, former president of the cedar falls rotary club, it's been a harrowing week. >> it's pretty rare when we have the fbi showing up downtown and going in and out of a building, and there's a scandal that's been going on. >> reporter: on main street, the aftershocks are still being felt
from the implosion of the peregrine financial group and the unmasking of its founder, local boy russell wasendorf, as a fraud of the first order. he promised $2 million to the university of northern iowa, contributed to charities for disabled children and funded scholarships to a local community college, evidently with money he stole. wasendorf tried to kill himself a week ago in the company parking lot, having written a note admitting he had deceived colleagues, customers and regulators for two decades. 175 people at the firm are now jobless. >> and so, lord, we lay our hearts bare before you today. >> reporter: brian king is pastor at the nazareth evangelical church. >> we've had any number of families that have been affected by this, obviously, well over 100 employees locally, and for a community our size, that's a pretty incredible impact. >> reporter: the restaurant wasendorf opened is now closed and the pride that a big firm could survive in a small town now seems misplaced.
senior analyst paul cavanaugh started working for wasendorf at the chicago office in 2005 and moved to iowa in june. this weekend, without a job, he was heading back to chicago. and when we caught up with him here, wasendorf was on his mind. if you could talk to him, what would you say to him? >> how could you possibly ever be happy when you're lying every day to everyone that you're employing and stealing from their customers? how could you live that life and be happy? >> i think we trust people a lot and we have faith in people doing the right thing at the right time, and sometimes we get disappointed. >> reporter: for cedar falls, iowa, this is one of those times. dean reynolds, cbs news, chicago. the fda has approved the first drug shown to reduce the risk of hiv infection. truvada is a preventive measure for people at high risk of acquiring hiv virus through sexual activity, such as those
with hiv-infected partners. coming up after your local news on cbs this morning, the latest on the drought and how it's already affecting the u.s. economy. plus, a huge security shortfall, now massive gridlock. is london really ready to host the olympics, which start in just ten days? and they walked the catwalk. now they're on hbo. beverly johnson, carol alt and kim alexis talk about a new documentary on supermodels. that and more a little later on "cbs this morning." that is the "cbs morning news" for this tuesday. as always, appreciate you watching. take care, everybody. i'm terrell brown. have a great day. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com